Big Blue Whale
Illustrated by Nick Maland
Best for ages: 4-8
Type of Book: Picture/Nonfiction
This easy to understand book tells about blue whales in two page spreads with large borderless pictures, large text, and smaller print captions which wrap around the pictures. The author and illustrator show its size and physical appearance, breathing, eating, migrating, caring for young, and communicating over great distances by making a very low “hum.” Also included is a very simple index.
The text is clear and simple without being condescending, and has lots of details which will fascinate young children (the blue whale’s breath smells “stale and fishy,” North Pole whales and South Pole whales migrate to the equator each year, but at opposite times, “so the two groups of whales never meet.”) The pictures perfectly capture the points the author is trying to make; for instance, when she talks about size, the picture shows the whale compared to an elephant and giraffe, with the whale extending off the page and on to the next spread. A fine introduction to a fascinating topic. -- Matt Berman, The New Orleans Times-Picayune and Children's Book Award Annual’‘